February 13, 2020

Jewish groups call on SXSW Festival to remove Roger Waters from lineup

Jewish and pro-Israel groups have called on music, film and media festival South by Southwest (SXSW) to remove an interview with former Pink Floyd frontman and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters from its events schedule.

Waters is listed as one of the festival’s keynote speakers and is scheduled to give a sit-down interview with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.

Roger Waters. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
“Waters is an avowed antisemite with a long history of demonizing Jews and Israel, which he refers to as a ‘racist apartheid regime’ and a ‘theocracy,’ ” said B’nai B’rith International in a statement on Tuesday. “He is a prominent advocate of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and blames ‘the Jewish lobby’ for objecting to his views. His shows have featured an inflatable pig marked with a Star of David, which he refused to apologize for.”

“By cloaking his antisemitic beliefs in anti-Israel invective, Waters apparently believes he has carte blanche to spew anti-Jewish tropes,” continued the group. “It is unconscionable that Waters be given any platform to air his antisemitic views, much less the chance to be a keynote speaker at a major music festival. SXSW should remove him from its lineup immediately.”

The Zionist Organization of America called for SXSW to cancel Waters’ appearance “immediately.”

The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) organization has also called on SXSW to revoke its invitation to the longtime musician.

SXSW, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, is scheduled for March 13-22 in Austin, Texas.

The B’nai B’rith International and ZOA campaigns come on the heels of them getting Major League Baseball to say it will no longer run advertisements for Waters’ upcoming North American tour.

Source: jns